Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow Day in the South, part two

Yesterday, Abbie shared a post about her experience with the snow that rolled in last weekend.  My experience was pretty similar.

Abbie mentioned that she avoided the grocery store last Friday, but I had to pick up some ice cream for a get-together we had that night.  On the way, I stopped at the library to drop off some books and pick up a few new ones.  I was leisurely browsing through the books (my husband had come home early that day, so it was quite nice to be child-less for this trip!) when suddenly the librarian yelled, "We will be closing in 5 minutes!!  Bring your books to the front and check out!!"

Excuse me??  This was my mini-vacation, a trip to the library all by myself!  And now it was being cut short... and it wasn't even snowing yet!  ::sigh::  Okay.  I barely even made it to the desk when they were already turning off the lights.  The librarians were practically making a beeline for the door - they couldn't get out of there fast enough.

"Is this because of the.... snow??" I asked hesitantly, because I didn't want to sound lame.  Like I mentioned, it wasn't even snowing yet.  But, the librarian answered in the affirmative.

So I made my way out to the car and drove about half a mile up the road to the grocery store for the ice cream.  Snow flurries began as I was driving, and although I grew up in New England and consider myself a good snow driver, I was pretty nervous because the drivers here are not used to snow and I could tell that other people were nervous by the way they were driving.  The traffic was also horrible because it was Friday afternoon, AND people had left work especially early in anticipation of the snow.

The grocery store was just as I expected it to be.... FULL of people who were stocking up on water bottles, canned goods, and flashlights.  I was shocked for two reasons: one, I didn't understand the hype because let's face it, this is the SOUTH... any snow we get is NOT going to last more than 24 hours.  And two: are these people really without these items on a normal basis?  Do people really not have flashlights and canned goods?  After doing a food storage blog for almost two years, it's almost like second nature to me to have at least SOME canned goods in my home at all times.  But I guess that's not the case for everyone.

I will admit: sometimes, when I hear about a storm coming my way and I assess my food storage, part of me still feels like going to the grocery store and stocking up on emergency supplies, even though I already have them in my home!  Is this normal, does anyone do this?!?  A part of me wants the excitement of running to the store and filling my cart with new flashlights, more canned goods, more bottled water.... even though I have plenty of all of these things in my home already.  Is that weird??

Anyway, I resisted all urges to get a cart and join the chaos, and I grabbed my ice cream, paid, and left (thank goodness for self-checkout!).

By the time I got home, the snow was coming down at a steady pace.  It was very exciting and fun.  My three-year-old has never experienced anything like this so it was great to see her reaction.  She and my husband built a snowman, had snowball fights, and just had an all-around great time.

One funny thing that happened: when I got home from the store, I was telling my husband about the chaos I encountered at the store.  He laughed too, but then a couple minutes later he said, "So... we DO have food, right? Like, some canned goods?"  !?!?  Umm... honey, have you looked in our food storage closet lately? Did you know that I write a food storage blog??  Hellooo!  (not to sound mean.. it was really funny though.  I assured him that yes, we do have "some food" and that we would be fine.  He grew up in Wisconsin, he knows what a "real" snowstorm is like... I was pretty surprised that he was even asking me that.

The lights flickered a few times on Friday evening, and our Olympic viewing was pretty hindered by the poor cable feed (because of the snow), but other than that the snow didn't affect us much on Friday.

On Saturday, however, long after the last snowflake had fallen, our power went out.  I called the power company (I have their # saved in my cell phone!) and reported the outage, and they told me that the power should be back on around 6pm (which was 8 hours from then!).  I was pretty bummed out because I had just put some dinner in the crockpot.  I put it in the fridge and hoped that the electricity would come back sooner than they said.

Unsurprisingly, I became quite bored soon after the lights went out.  I mean, it's not as if I rely on electricity for everything I do, but it seems like the only things I could think of to do needed electricity.  I felt like playing the piano, but it's electric.  I thought about watching movies, but... yeah.  We read some books, played some games.  It got kind of cold in the house but we just bundled up and it wasn't too bad.

Thankfully, the power came back on just a few hours later - long before 6pm.  

As I reflected on this experience, I am surprised at how disappointed I was with the power outage.  I know that I rely on electricity a lot, like most people do, but I really don't deal with outages very well.  It makes me feel like I don't have any control over my surroundings... I am constantly flipping on a light switch and then remembering, "oh yeah, the power's out!" and I don't like that.

Thankfully it was daytime, and no flashlights were needed at all.  I am very thankful that we were prepared in that aspect, however... although I should re-check all the batteries because my three-year-old loves to play with flashlights. :)  Thanks also to everyone who left great comments and suggestions in yesterday's post about flashlight options!

All in all, this was a great experience and I'm happy we could have a "mini" emergency to help us get prepared and think about what we need to do if something truly awful came our way.


HermitJim said...

Sometimes it takes a mini-emergency to serve as a reminder. Like you said, no one really wants to deal with it, but it's nice to know we can!

Got a kick at the DH reaction and statement about food...then I went and looked again at my supplies, just to be sure!

See what I mean? Now you got me doing it...Thanks, my friend!

Kathy said...

Your hubby's from WI? Yay! We are, too! I am always wishing we will get some huge storm that knocks out power and disables the state for a while (I know, sick, isn't it?) but up here they deal with it so well that it rarely disrupts anything. Even the past two winters with record snowfalls, events were cancelled but we never lost power and life was back to normal after a day or two. Oh well! At least I am prepared if it does happen. Thanks for sharing your experience and for your helpful blog. It helps me stay on task!